fbpx Aspen House Offers Housing, Mental Health Care for Teens in Crisis
Authored by Nexus Family Healing on October 14, 2022

Dakota County and Nexus Family Healing are celebrating the opening of Aspen House, a short-term residential facility for Dakota and Washington counties to place youth ages 12–18 who temporarily need a safe place to stay. Staff plan to open Aspen House October 2022.

Aspen House will not only provide temporary housing, but will also offer mental health care, ranging from assessments and services to recreational and educational activities. It will also provide educational instruction and coordinate with community providers and supporting organizations to further help teens in crisis. The facility has 12 beds and could help more than 100 youth annually.

Aspen House is located in Mendota Heights. The facility is a collaboration of Dakota and Washington counties. Nexus Family Healing is the operating partner that will provide 24/7 on-site staffing.

After other youth facilities have closed the past few years, there is a gap in resources for teens in crisis situations. Often these youth end up in overly restrictive detention centers when what they really need is a safe, residential facility with support services. Aspen House will help fill that gap and give county staff an additional place to turn as they help youth in crisis.

“It’s vitally important that we as a county provide a place for kids to be when they’re going through some of the toughest times in their life and they can’t be at home,” Dakota County Commissioner Laurie Halverson said at an event Oct. 14. “We want to make sure they’re safe, they’re cared for and they can get the services they need immediately. I’m really proud of Dakota County for making this part of our community.”

Working in partnership with social workers, therapists, law enforcement, and government agencies like child protective services, Aspen House will provide teens with the mental health support they need while working to ensure a safe return to their family.

“We are excited to open Aspen House as we’ve seen first-hand how the mental health needs of our young people continue to grow,” said Dr. Michelle K. Murray of Nexus Family Healing. “Receiving the right care, in the right place, at the right time is critical and our staff is committed to making a tremendous impact in keeping these youth safe and on a path to healing.”